# POLSCI 2NN3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Dependent And Independent Variables

## Document Summary

The experimental method provides a valuable model of how to structure a research study aimed at exploring causation. Non-experimental research designs (at least for research questions exploring causation) need to be similarly interested in questions of: correlation, chronological sequence, control. The comparative method attempts to establish causation through the selection of appropriate cases (analogous to selecting appropriate control groups) The goal is to rule out spurious associations. A variety of different comparative designs exist: If the only meaningful thing that is different between your cases are the variables highlighted in your hypothesis (independent and dependent variable: then it is reasonable to infer that the independent variable causes the dependent variable. Seek out cases that are as different as possible: different except for the fact that every case selected has the independent variable contained in your hypothesis (the one that your hypothesis suggests causes the dependent variable)